Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Walking the Bones"

New from Sourcebooks: Walking the Bones by Randall Silvis.

About the book, from the publisher:

When long-buried secrets come back to the surface...

The bones of seven young girls, picked clean and carefully preserved, discovered years ago… that’s all Sergeant Ryan DeMarco knows about the unsolved crime he has unwittingly been roped into investigating during what is supposed to be a healing road trip with his new love, Jayme.

DeMarco is still reeling from the case that led to death of his best friend months ago and wants nothing more than to lay low. Unfortunately, the small southern town of Jayme’s idyllic youth is not exactly a place that lets strangers go unnoticed—especially strangers who have a history of solving violent crimes. And if there’s anything DeMarco knows, it’s that a killer always leaves clues behind, just waiting for the right person to come along and put all the pieces together…

Walking the Bones is a story about things buried—memories, regrets, secrets, and bodies. Acclaimed author Randall Silvis delivers another heart-stopping investigation as DeMarco finds himself once again drawn into a case that will demand more of himself than he may be willing to give.
Learn more about the book and author at Randall Silvis's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Boy Who Shoots Crows.

My Book, The Movie: The Boy Who Shoots Crows.

My Book, The Movie: Only the Rain.

The Page 69 Test: Only the Rain.

Writers Read: Randall Silvis.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 15, 2018

"Brass"

New from Random House: Brass: A Novel by Xhenet Aliu.

About the book, from the publisher:

A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner, Elsie hopes her nickel-and-dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naïve, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams—and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. Back when the brass mills were still open, this bustling factory town drew one wave of immigrants after another. Now it’s the place they can’t seem to leave. Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when she learns that she’s pregnant, Elsie can’t help wondering where Bashkim’s heart really lies, and what he’ll do about the wife he left behind.

Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day. Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she’s stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie—a fate she refuses to accept. Wondering if the key to her future is unlocking the secrets of the past, Lulu decides to find out what exactly her mother has been hiding about the father she never knew. As she soon discovers, the truth is closer than she ever imagined.

Told in equally gripping parallel narratives with biting wit and grace, Brass announces a fearless new voice with a timely, tender, and quintessentially American story.
Visit Xhenet Aliu's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Land of Permanent Goodbyes"

New from Philomel Books: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi.

About the book, from the publisher:

Narrated by Destiny, this heartbreaking — and timely — story of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria is masterfully told by a foreign news correspondent who experienced the crisis firsthand.

In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future.

In the wake of destruction, he’s threatened by Daesh fighters and witnesses a public beheading. Tareq’s family knows that to continue to stay alive, they must leave. As they travel as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece, facing danger at every turn, Tareq must find the resilience and courage to complete his harrowing journey.

But while this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of all wars, of all tragedy, and of all strife. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.

Destiny narrates this heartbreaking story of the consequences of war, showing the Syrian conflict as part of a long chain of struggles spanning through time.

An award-winning author and journalist–and a refugee herself–Atia Abawi captures the hope that spurs people forward against all odds and the love that makes that hope grow.
Visit Atia Abawi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 14, 2018

"Keep Her Safe"

New from Atria Books: Keep Her Safe: A Novel by K.A. Tucker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that's been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family's life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn't born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it's all she knows anymore. At least here people don't care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive...until a man who clearly doesn't belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department's dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker's reputation as one of today's most talented new voices in romantic suspense.
Visit K.A. Tucker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise"

New from Scribner: A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia by Sandra Allen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dazzlingly, daringly written, marrying the thoughtful originality of Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts with the revelatory power of Neurotribes and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, this propulsive, stunning book illuminates the experience of living with schizophrenia like never before.

Sandra Allen did not know her uncle Bob very well. As a child, she had been told he was “crazy,” that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. But Bob had lived a hermetic life in a remote part of California for longer than she had been alive, and what little she knew of him came from rare family reunions or odd, infrequent phone calls. Then in 2009 Bob mailed her his autobiography. Typewritten in all caps, a stream of error-riddled sentences over sixty, single-spaced pages, the often incomprehensible manuscript proclaimed to be a “true story” about being “labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,” and arrived with a plea to help him get his story out to the world.

In A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise, Allen translates her uncle’s autobiography, artfully creating a gripping coming-of-age story while sticking faithfully to the facts as he shared them. Lacing Bob’s narrative with chapters providing greater contextualization, Allen also shares background information about her family, the culturally explosive time and place of her uncle’s formative years, and the vitally important questions surrounding schizophrenia and mental healthcare in America more broadly. The result is a heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious portrait of a young man striving for stability in his life as well as his mind, and an utterly unique lens into an experience that, to most people, remains unimaginable.
Visit Sandra Allen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 13, 2018

"The Atomic City Girls"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: The Atomic City Girls: A Novel by Janet Beard.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes this riveting novel of the everyday people who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.

“What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here.”

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.
Visit Janet Beard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Wizard and the Prophet"

New from Knopf: The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles C. Mann.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493–an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow’s world.

In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups–Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry. Only in that way can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces–food, water, energy, climate change–grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author’s insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.
Visit Charles C. Mann's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Anatomy of a Scandal"

New from Atria/Emily Bestler Books: Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel by Sarah Vaughan.

About the book, from the publisher:

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
Visit Sarah Vaughan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 12, 2018

"Stalking God"

New from Seal Press: Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search for Something to Believe In by Anjali Kumar.

About the book, from the publisher:

Anjali Kumar, a pragmatic lawyer for Google, was part of a rapidly growing population in America: highly spiritual but religiously uncommitted. But when her daughter was born, she became compelled to find God–or at least some kind of enlightenment.

Convinced that traditional religions were not a fit for her, and knowing that she couldn’t simply Google an answer to “What is the meaning of life?”, Kumar set out on a spiritual pilgrimage, looking for answers–and nothing was off limits or too unorthodox. She headed to the mountains of Peru to learn from the shamans, attended the techie haunt of Burning Man, practiced transcendental meditation, convened with angels, and visited saints, goddesses, witches, and faith healers. She even hired a medium to convene with the dead.

Kumar’s lighthearted story offers a revealing look at the timeless and vexing issue of spirituality in an era when more and more people are walking away from formal religions. Narrated from the open-minded perspective of a spiritual seeker rather than a religious scholar, Kumar offers an honest account of some of the less than mainstream spiritual practices that are followed by millions of people in the world today as she searches for the answers to life’s most universal questions: Why are we here? What happens when we die? Is there a God?
Visit Anjali Kumar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Silent Room"

New from Minotaur Books: The Silent Room: A Thriller by Mari Hannah.

About the book, from the publisher:

One fugitive. A deadly plot. No rules. Thus begins an ingenious and lightning-fast thriller that reviewers agree is “not to be missed.”

Detective Sergeant Matthew Ryan wants to clear the name of his former boss, who stands accused of official corruption. But before he can do so, his boss disappears. Did he escape from police custody, or was he kidnapped? Or did something even worse happen to him?

The Silent Room has everything a good thriller should have—compelling characters, a gripping plot and storyline, superb pacing, and a strong sense of place. In addition it has heart, something many thrillers sorely lack. Add some truly scary villains, vast uncertainty about whom to trust, and a loudly ticking clock, and we have ourselves a thriller that will grip readers from the first pages and never let go.
Visit Mari Hannah's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"Ripping England!"

New from the State University of New York Press: Ripping England!: Postwar British Satire from Ealing to the Goons by Roger Rawlings.

About the book, from the publisher:

Examines an all too often neglected period of postwar British cinema and popular culture.

Ripping England! investigates a fertile moment for British satire—the period between 1947 and 1953, which produced the films Passport to Pimlico, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and The Lavender Hill Mob, as well as the seminal radio program The Goon Show. Against the postwar background of fading empire, universal rationing, and the implementation of a welfare state, these satires laid the foundation for a new British cultural identity later fleshed out by the Angry Young Men, the Movement poets, the Social Realists, and those involved in the satire boom of the 1960s, which lives on even to this day.

The peculiarity of these satires and the British identity they shaped is better understood when seen in relief against postwar cinematic cultures of Italy, France, and the United States. Roger Rawlings places postwar British film in the context of contemporaneous European national film movements and contrasts it with Hollywood’s comedies and satires of the same period. British satires of the late forties and early fifties held up a mirror to a nation that was in the throes of change, moving from a colonial empire to an inward-turning island culture. Ripping England! looks at the all too often neglected miracle of postwar British cinema and popular culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Oliver Loving"

New from Flatiron Books: Oliver Loving: A Novel by Stefan Merrill Block.

About the book, from the publisher:

A family in crisis, a town torn apart, and the boy who holds the secret has been cocooned in a coma for ten years.

One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening —and the unspoken story he carries— will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.

Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the stillpoint of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate— and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.

A moving meditation on the transformative power of grief and love, a slyly affectionate look at the idiosyncrasies of family, and an emotionally-charged page-turner, Stefan Merill Block's Oliver Loving is an extraordinarily original novel that ventures into the unknowable and returns with the most fundamental truths.
Visit Stefan Merrill Block's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Claude Chabrol's Aesthetics of Opacity"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Claude Chabrol's Aesthetics of Opacity by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze.

About the book, from the publisher:

Claude Chabrol's cinema is generally associated with a specific type of psychological thriller, one set in the French provinces and fascinated with murder, incest, fragmented families, unstable spaces and inscrutable female characters. But Chabrol's films are both deceptively accessible and deeply reflexive, and in this innovative reappraisal of his filmography Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze explores the Chabrol who was influenced by Balzac, Magritte and Stanley Kubrick. Bringing to the fore Chabrol's 'aesthetic of opacity', the book deconstructs the apparent clarity and comfort of his chosen genre, encouraging the viewer to reflect on the relationship between illusion and reality, and the status of the film image itself.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Just Between Us"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Just Between Us: A Novel by Rebecca Drake.

About the book, from the publisher:

Four suburban mothers conspire to cover up a deadly crime in Just Between Us, a heart-stopping novel of suspense by Rebecca Drake.

Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.
Visit Rebecca Drake's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dominic"

New from Seventh Street Books: Dominic: A Hollow Man Novel by Mark Pryor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Only two other people know that Dominic, a charming Englishman, prosecutor, and musician in Austin, Texas, is also a psychopath. They also know that a year ago he got away with murder.

One of those people is his “special lady,” and the other is her brother, a teenager and fellow psychopath called Bobby. When a wily homicide detective starts digging up that past murder, little Bobby offers to take care of the problem–permanently. Dominic tries to dissuade him, but as he himself knows, psychopaths aren’t good with following instructions. Or impulse control.

As Detective Megan Ledsome circles closer, Dominic knows his life depends on keeping his secrets hidden, from her and the rest of the world. And when his annoying office-mate declares his interest in a judicial position, one he himself would like, Dominic realizes that one of his carefully-orchestrated plans could kill two birds with one stone.

Of course, that means some sleight of hand and a sacrifice or two. But if there’s one thing a psychopath doesn’t mind, it’s sacrificing other people.
Visit Mark Pryor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hearing Haneke"

New from Oxford University Press: Hearing Haneke: The Sound Tracks of a Radical Auteur by Elsie Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Michael Haneke's films subject us to extreme experiences of disturbance, desperation, grief, and violence. They are unsoftened by music, punctuated by accosting noises, shaped by painful silences, and charged with aggressive dialogue. The sound tracks are even more traumatic to hear than his stories are to see, but they also offer us the transformative possibilities of reawakened sonic awareness. Haneke's use of sound redefines cinema in ways that can help us re-hear everything-including our own voices, and everything around us-better.

Though Haneke's films make exceptional demands on us, he is among the most celebrated of living auteurs: he is two-time receipt of the Palme D'Or at Cannes Film Festival (for The White Ribbon (2009) and Amour (2012)), and Academy Award winner of Best Foreign Language Film (for Amour), along with numerous other awards. The radical confrontationality of his cinema makes him an internationally controversial, as well as revered, subject. Hearing Haneke is the first book-length study of the sound tracks that define this living legacy.

This book explores the haunting, subversive, and political significance of all aural elements through Haneke's major feature films (dialogue, sound effects, silences, and music), all of which are meticulously conducted by him. Many critics read Haneke as coolly dispassionate about showing scenes of humanity under threat, but Hearing Haneke argues that all facets of his sound tracks stress humane understanding and the importance of compassion. This book provides exceptionally detailed analyses of all Haneke's most celebrated films: including The Seventh Continent, Funny Games, Code Unknown, The Piano Teacher, Caché, The White Ribbon, and Amour. The writing brings together film theory, musicology, history, and cultural studies in ways that resonate broadly. Hearing Haneke will matter to anyone who cares about the power of art to inspire progressive change.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"The Trouble with True Love"

New from Avon Books: The Trouble with True Love by Laura Lee Guhrke.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dear Lady Truelove,

I am a girl of noble family, but I am painfully shy, especially in my encounters with those of the opposite sex...


For Clara Deverill, standing in for the real Lady Truelove means dispensing advice on problems she herself has never managed to overcome. There’s nothing for it but to retreat to a tearoom and hope inspiration strikes between scones. It doesn’t—until Clara overhears a rake waxing eloquent on the art of “honorable” jilting. The cad may look like an Adonis, but he’s about to find himself on the wrong side of Lady Truelove.

Rex Galbraith is an heir with no plans to produce a spare. He flirts with the minimum number of eligible young ladies to humor his matchmaking aunt, but Clara is the first to ever catch his roving eye. When he realizes that Clara—as Lady Truelove—has used his advice as newspaper fodder, he’s infuriated. But when he’s forced into a secret alliance with her, he realizes he’s got a much bigger problem—because Clara is upending everything Rex thought he knew about women—and about himself....
Visit Laura Lee Guhrke's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Gist of Reading"

New from Stanford University Press: The Gist of Reading by Andrew Elfenbein.

About the book, from the publisher:

What happens to books as they live in our long-term memory? Why do we find some books entertaining and others not? And how does literary influence work on writers in different ways? Grounded in the findings of empirical psychology, this book amends classic reader-response theory and attends to neglected aspects of reading that cannot be explained by traditional literary criticism.

Reading arises from a combination of two kinds of mental work: automatic and controlled processes. Automatic processes, such as the ability to see visual symbols as words, are the result of constant practice; controlled processes, such as predicting what might occur next in a story, arise from readers' conscious use of skills and background knowledge. When we read, automatic and controlled processes work together to create the "gist" of reading, the constant interplay between these two kinds of processes. Andrew Elfenbein not only explains how we read today, but also uses current knowledge about reading to consider readers of past centuries, arguing that understanding gist is central to interpreting the social, psychological, and political impact of literary works. The result is the first major revisionary account of reading practices in literary criticism since the 1970s.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 8, 2018

"The Pearl Sister"

New from Atria Books: The Pearl Sister (Book #4 of The Seven Sisters) by Lucinda Riley.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the breathtaking beaches of Thailand to the barely tamed wilds of colonial Australia, The Pearl Sister is the next captivating story in New York Times bestselling author Lucinda Riley’s epic series about two women searching for a place to call home.

CeCe D’Aplièse has always felt like an outcast. But following the death of her father—the reclusive billionaire affectionately called Pa Salt by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe—she finds herself more alone than ever. With nothing left to lose, CeCe delves into the mystery of her familial origins. The only clues she holds are a black and white photograph and the name of a female pioneer who once traversed the globe from Scotland to Australia.

One hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, a clergyman's daughter, abandoned her conservative upbringing to serve as the companion to a wealthy woman traveling from Edinburgh to Adelaide. Her ticket to a new land brings the adventure she dreamed of…and a love that she had never imagined.

When CeCe reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people, and her soul reawakens. As she comes closer to finding the truth of her ancestry, CeCe begins to believe that this untamed, vast continent could offer her what she’s always yearned for: a sense of belonging.
Visit Lucinda Riley's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Storm Sister.

My Book, The Movie: The Storm Sister.

My Book, The Movie: The Shadow Sister.

Writers Read: Lucinda Riley.

The Page 69 Test: The Shadow Sister.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lullaby Road"

New from Crown: Lullaby Road: A Novel by James Anderson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Winter has come to Route 117, a remote road through the high desert of Utah trafficked only by eccentrics, fugitives, and those looking to escape the world. Local truck driver Ben Jones, still in mourning over a heartbreaking loss, is just trying to get through another season of treacherous roads and sudden snowfall without an accident. But then he finds a mute Hispanic child who has been abandoned at a seedy truck stop along his route, far from civilization and bearing a note that simply reads “Please Ben. Watch my son. His name is Juan” And then at the bottom, a few more hastily scribbled words. “Bad Trouble. Tell no one.”.

Despite deep misgivings, and without any hint of who this child is or the grave danger he’s facing, Ben takes the child with him in his truck and sets out into an environment that is as dangerous as it is beautiful and silent. From that moment forward, nothing will ever be the same. Not for Ben. Not for the child. And not for anyone along the seemingly empty stretch of road known as Route 117.
Visit James Anderson's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Never-Open Desert Diner.

Writers Read: James Anderson (March 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 7, 2018

"The Night Market"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Night Market by Jonathan Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

From an author who consistently gives us “suspense that never stops" (James Patterson), a near-future thriller that makes your most paranoid fantasies seem like child’s play.

It’s late Thursday night, and Inspector Ross Carver is at a crime scene in one of the city’s last luxury homes. The dead man on the floor is covered by an unknown substance that’s eating through his skin. Before Carver can identify it, six FBI agents burst in and remove him from the premises. He’s pushed into a disinfectant trailer, forced to drink a liquid that sends him into seizures, and then is shocked unconscious.

On Sunday he wakes in his bed to find his neighbor, Mia—who he’s barely ever spoken to—reading aloud to him. He can’t remember the crime scene or how he got home; he has no idea two days have passed. Mia says she saw him being carried into their building by plainclothes police officers, who told her he’d been poisoned. Carver doesn’t really know this woman and has no way of disproving her, but his gut says to keep her close.

A mind-bending, masterfully plotted thriller that will captivate fans of Blake Crouch, China Miéville, and Lauren Beukes, The Night Market follows Carver as he works to find out what happened, soon realizing he’s entangled in a web of conspiracy that spans the nation. And that Mia may know a lot more than she lets on.
Visit Jonathan Moore's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Poison Artist.

Writers Read: Jonathan Moore (February 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Stowaway"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

The spectacular, true story of a scrappy teenager from New York’s Lower East Side who stowed away on the Roaring Twenties’ most remarkable feat of science and daring: an expedition to Antarctica.

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? This was the moon landing before the 1960s. Everyone wanted to join the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage.

The night before the expedition’s flagship launched, Billy Gawronski—a skinny, first generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business—jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard.

Could he get away with it?

From the grimy streets of New York’s Lower East Side to the rowdy dance halls of sultry Francophone Tahiti, all the way to Antarctica’s blinding white and deadly freeze, Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Stowaway takes you on the unforgettable voyage of a gutsy young stowaway who became an international celebrity, a mascot for an up-by-your bootstraps age.
Visit Laurie Gwen Shapiro's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Blood and Sand"

New from Tor Teen: Blood and Sand: A Novel by C. V. Wyk.

About the book, from the publisher:

FORGED IN BATTLE...
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA...
A LEGEND WILL RISE

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic—and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...
Visit C. V. Wyk's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 6, 2018

"Everything Here Is Beautiful"

New from Pamela Dorman Books: Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak

Two sisters—Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. But Lucia impetuously plows ahead, marrying a bighearted, older man only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She moves her new family from the States to Ecuador and back again, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth.

Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again—but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans—but what does it take to break them?

Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young woman’s quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it’s also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone—and when loyalty to one’s self must prevail over all.
Visit Mira T. Lee's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Subversive Spirits"

New from the University Press of Mississippi: Subversive Spirits: The Female Ghost in British and American Popular Culture by Robin Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:

The supernatural has become extraordinarily popular in literature, television, and film. Vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches, and wizard have become staples of entertainment industries, and many of these figures have received extensive critical attention. But one figure has remained in the shadows--the female ghost. Inherently liminal, often literally invisible, the female ghost has nevertheless appeared in all genres. Subversive Spirits: The Female Ghost in British and American Popular Culture brings this figure into the light, exploring her cultural significance in a variety of media from 1926 to 2014. Robin Roberts argues that the female ghost is well worth studying for what she can tell us about feminine subjectivity in cultural contexts.

Subversive Spirits examines appearances of the female ghost in heritage sites, theater, Hollywood film, literature, and television in the United States and the United Kingdom. What holds these disparate female ghosts together is their uncanny ability to disrupt, illuminate, and challenge gendered assumptions. As with other supernatural figures, the female ghost changes over time, especially responding to changes in gender roles.

Roberts's analysis begins with comedic female ghosts in literature and film and moves into horror by examining the successful play The Woman in Black and the legend of the weeping woman, La Llorona. Roberts then situates the canonical works of Maxine Hong Kingston and Toni Morrison in the tradition of the female ghost to explore how the ghost is used to portray the struggle and pain of women of color. Roberts further analyzes heritage sites that use the female ghost as the friendly and inviting narrator for tourists. The book concludes with a comparison of the British and American versions of the television hit Being Human, where the female ghost expands her influence to become a mother and savior to all humanity.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Taxonomy of Love"

New from Amulet Books: A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s ... something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.
Visit Rachael Allen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 5, 2018

"Red Clocks"

New from Little, Brown and Co.: Red Clocks: A Novel by Leni Zumas.

About the book, from the publisher:

Five women. One question. What is a woman for?

In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom.

Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro’s best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling herbalist, or “mender,” who brings all their fates together when she’s arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt.

RED CLOCKS is at once a riveting drama, whose mysteries unfold with magnetic energy, and a shattering novel of ideas. In the vein of Margaret Atwood and Eileen Myles, Leni Zumas fearlessly explores the contours of female experience, evoking THE HANDMAID’S TALE for a new millennium. This is a story of resilience, transformation, and hope in tumultuous-even frightening-times.
Visit Leni Zumas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Map of the Dark"

New from Mulholland Books: A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis.

About the book, from the publisher:

While her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, FBI Agent Elsa Myers answers the NYPD’s call to assist in the search for Ruby, a teenage girl abducted from Forest Hills, Queens. Throughout the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads obscures the fact that Ruby was taken by a serial offender—and that her life may not be the only one in danger.

With each passing hour, Elsa’s carefully compartmentalized world collapses around her. Everything that she has buried—her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother’s death—threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.
Visit Karen Ellis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Last Gargoyle"

New from Crown Books for Young Readers: The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fans of Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book will tremble with delight for this haunting tale about a lonely gargoyle who isn’t alone at all.

Penhallow is the last of his kind. The stone gargoyle–he’d prefer you call him a grotesque–fearlessly protects his Boston building from the spirits who haunt the night. But even he is outmatched when Hetty, his newest ward, nearly falls victim to the Boneless King, the ruler of the underworld.

Then there’s Viola, the mysterious girl who keeps turning up at the most unlikely times. In a world where nightmares come to life, Viola could be just the ally Penhallow needs. But can he trust her when every shadow hides another secret? Can he afford not to?
Visit Paul Durham's website.

Writers Read: Paul Durham (May 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 4, 2018

"Dangerous Crossing"

New from Atria Books: Dangerous Crossing: A Novel by Rachel Rhys.

About the book, from the publisher:

The ship has been like a world within itself, a vast floating city outside of normal rules. But the longer the journey continues, the more confined it is starting to feel, deck upon deck, passenger upon passenger, all of them churning around each other without anywhere to go...

1939: Europe is on the brink of war when young Lily Shepherd boards an ocean liner in Essex, bound for Australia. She is ready to start anew, leaving behind the shadows in her past. The passage proves magical, complete with live music, cocktails, and fancy dress balls. With stops at exotic locations along the way—Naples, Cairo, Ceylon—the voyage shows Lily places she’d only ever dreamed of and enables her to make friends with those above her social station, people who would ordinarily never give her the time of day. She even allows herself to hope that a man she couldn’t possibly have a future with outside the cocoon of the ship might return her feelings.

But Lily soon realizes that she’s not the only one hiding secrets. Her newfound friends—the toxic wealthy couple Eliza and Max; Cambridge graduate Edward; Jewish refugee Maria; fascist George—are also running away from their pasts. As the glamour of the voyage fades, the stage is set for something sinister to occur. By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and Lily’s life will be changed irrevocably.
Visit the Rachel Rhys/Tammy Cohen/Tamar Cohen website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"King Zeno"

New from MCD: King Zeno: A Novel by Nathaniel Rich.

About the book, from the publisher:

New Orleans, 1918. The birth of jazz, the Spanish flu, an ax murderer on the loose. The lives of a traumatized cop, a conflicted Mafia matriarch, and a brilliant trumpeter converge—and the Crescent City gets the rich, dark, sweeping novel it so deserves.

From one of the most inventive writers of his generation, King Zeno is a historical crime novel and a searching inquiry into man’s dreams of immortality.

New Orleans, a century ago: a city determined to reshape its destiny and, with it, the nation’s. Downtown, a new American music is born. In Storyville, prostitution is outlawed and the police retake the streets with maximum violence. In the Ninth Ward, laborers break ground on a gigantic canal that will split the city, a work of staggering human ingenuity intended to restore New Orleans’s faded mercantile glory. The war is ending and a prosperous new age dawns. But everything is thrown into chaos by a series of murders committed by an ax-wielding maniac with a peculiar taste in music.

The ax murders scramble the fates of three people from different corners of town. Detective William Bastrop is an army veteran haunted by an act of wartime cowardice, recklessly bent on redemption. Isadore Zeno is a jazz cornetist with a dangerous side hustle. Beatrice Vizzini is the widow of a crime boss who yearns to take the family business straight. Each nurtures private dreams of worldly glory and eternal life, their ambitions carrying them into dark territories of obsession, paranoia, and madness.

In New Orleans, a city built on swamp, nothing stays buried long.
Visit Nathaniel Rich's website.

Writers Read: Nathaniel Rich (March 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"The Voice Inside"

New from Thomas & Mercer: The Voice Inside (Frost Easton Series #2) by Brian Freeman.

About the book, from the publisher:

One cop’s lie has set a killer free.

Four years after serial killer Rudy Cutter was sent away for life, San Francisco homicide inspector Frost Easton uncovers a terrible lie: his closest friend planted false evidence to put Cutter behind bars. When he’s forced to reveal the truth, his sister’s killer is back on the streets.

Desperate to take Cutter down again, the detective finds a new ally in Eden Shay. She wrote a book about Cutter and knows more about him than anyone. And she’s terrified. Because for four years, Cutter has been nursing revenge day after stolen day.

Staying ahead of the game of a killer who’s determined to strike again is not going to be easy. Not when Frost is battling his own demons. Not when the game is becoming so personal. And not when the killer’s next move is unlike anything Frost expected.
Learn more about the books and author at Brian Freeman's official website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Stripped.

My Book, The Movie: Stripped.

The Page 69 Test: Stalked.

My Book, The Movie: Spilled Blood.

The Page 69 Test: The Cold Nowhere.

My Book, The Movie: Season of Fear.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Green"

New from Random House: Green: A Novel by Sam Graham-Felsen.

About the book, from the publisher:

A coming-of-age novel about race, privilege, and the struggle to rise in America, written by a former Obama campaign staffer and propelled by an exuberant, unforgettable narrator.

“A fierce and brilliant book, comic, poignant, perfectly observed, and blazing with all the urgent fears and longings of adolescence.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

Boston, 1992. David Greenfeld is one of the few white kids at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School. Everybody clowns him, girls ignore him, and his hippie parents won’t even buy him a pair of Nikes, let alone transfer him to a private school. Unless he tests into the city’s best public high school—which, if practice tests are any indication, isn’t likely—he’ll be friendless for the foreseeable future.

Nobody’s more surprised than Dave when Marlon Wellings sticks up for him in the school cafeteria. Mar’s a loner from the public housing project on the corner of Dave’s own gentrifying block, and he confounds Dave’s assumptions about black culture: He’s nerdy and neurotic, a Celtics obsessive whose favorite player is the gawky, white Larry Bird. Before long, Mar’s coming over to Dave’s house every afternoon to watch vintage basketball tapes and plot their hustle to Harvard. But as Dave welcomes his new best friend into his world, he realizes how little he knows about Mar’s. Cracks gradually form in their relationship, and Dave starts to become aware of the breaks he’s been given—and that Mar has not.

Infectiously funny about the highs and lows of adolescence, and sharply honest in the face of injustice, Sam Graham-Felsen’s debut is a wildly original take on the American dream.
Visit Sam Graham-Felsen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"If You Knew Her"

New from Harper Paperbacks: If You Knew Her: A Novel by Emily Elgar.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman in a coma.

The man who could save her life—if only he could speak.


When young, beautiful Cassie Jensen arrives unconscious to the intensive care ward at St. Catherine’s hospital after being struck in a hit-and-run while out walking her dog, chief nurse Alice Marlowe thinks she looks familiar. She starts digging deeper into Cassie’s relationships, only to discover something about her patient that she’d been keeping secret from everyone, including her devoted husband and family. Soon Alice finds herself obsessed with her patient’s past and future, even willing to put her own career on the line in her single-minded search for answers.

Frank, a patient on the same ward who has locked-in syndrome, can hear and see everything around him but cannot speak. Soon he comes to understand that Cassie’s life is still in danger. While the police continue to look for clues, only Frank holds the truth, but he’s unable to communicate it.

As the novel flashes between points of view, the reader will get closer and closer to the truth of who Cassie Jensen was, and why she was out on the road that fateful night...
Visit Emily Elgar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

"Two Girls Down"

New from Doubleday: Two Girls Down: A Novel by Louisa Luna.

About the book, from the publisher:

As addictive, cinematic, and binge-worthy a narrative as The Wire and The Killing, Two Girls Down introduces Louisa Luna as a thriller writer of immense talent and verve.

When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied.

With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.
Visit Louisa Luna's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Grist Mill Road"

New from Picador: Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates.

About the book, from the publisher:

Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint.

Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again—with even more devastating results.
Visit Christopher J. Yates's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Girls in the Picture"

New from Delacorte Press: The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you’ll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have earned her the title “America’s Sweetheart.” The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world’s highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin perfectly captures the dawn of a glittering new era—its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.
Learn more about the book and author at Melanie Benjamin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Alice I Have Been.

The Page 69 Test: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

My Book, The Movie: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

The Page 69 Test: The Aviator's Wife.

The Page 69 Test: The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Writers Read: Melanie Benjamin (January 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 1, 2018

"The Wife"

New from Harper: The Wife:A Novel of Psychological Suspense by Alafair Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look at the man she married. And when she is asked to defend Jason in court, she realizes that her loyalty to her husband could unearth old secrets.

This much-anticipated follow-up to Burke’s Edgar-nominated The Ex asks how far a wife will go to protect the man she loves: Will she stand by his side, even if he drags her down with him?
Visit Alafair Burke's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Connection.

The Page 69 Test: Angel’s Tip.

The Page 69 Test: 212.

The Page 69 Test: All Day and a Night.

The Page 69 Test: The Ex.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Facing the Abyss"

New from Columbia University Press: Facing the Abyss: American Literature and Culture in the 1940s by George Hutchinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mythologized as the era of the “good war” and the “Greatest Generation,” the 1940s are frequently understood as a more heroic, uncomplicated time in American history. Yet just below the surface, a sense of dread, alienation, and the haunting specter of radical evil permeated American art and literature. Writers returned home from World War II and gave form to their disorienting experiences of violence and cruelty. They probed the darkness that the war opened up and confronted bigotry, existential guilt, ecological concerns, and fear about the nature and survival of the human race. In Facing the Abyss, George Hutchinson offers readings of individual works and the larger intellectual and cultural scene to reveal the 1940s as a period of profound and influential accomplishment.

Facing the Abyss examines the relation of aesthetics to politics, the idea of universalism, and the connections among authors across racial, ethnic, and gender divisions. Modernist and avant-garde styles were absorbed into popular culture as writers and artists turned away from social realism to emphasize the process of artistic creation. Hutchinson explores a range of important writers, from Saul Bellow and Mary McCarthy to Richard Wright and James Baldwin. African American and Jewish novelists critiqued racism and anti-Semitism, women writers pushed back on the misogyny unleashed during the war, and authors such as Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams reflected a new openness in the depiction of homosexuality. The decade also witnessed an awakening of American environmental and ecological consciousness. Hutchinson argues that despite the individualized experiences depicted in these works, a common belief in art’s ability to communicate the universal in particulars united the most important works of literature and art during the 1940s. Hutchinson’s capacious view of American literary and cultural history masterfully weaves together a wide range of creative and intellectual expression into a sweeping new narrative of this pivotal decade.
--Marshal Zeringue